Friday, September 30, 2016

Damned if you do, Damned if you don't

In New Jersey, you can't even TALK about guns in a positive light!

Anti-gun-control video project gets H.S. student suspended |

A New Jersey High School student, Frank Harvey, said
  ",,, a Manville High School teacher instructed him to create a video arguing against gun control for a junior college readiness class last year."
He was kicked out of school for performing the task too well.

UPDATE:     See the video that started the whole thing here.
(NOTE:   I couldn't get the video to work; it may have been lifted by now)

An Open Letter to "Bearing Arms", et al

Dear Bearing Arms ...

... and any other website which requires a FaceBook membership before they accept my comments:

I attempted tonight to submit a comment to an article on your website, and I was stopped because I was required to have a FACEBOOK membership before I could post my comment.

Rather than do so, I deleted my comment.  I do not have a FACEBOOK account, nor will I ever.

FACEBOOK requires a lot of private information before I can subscribe; I am reluctant to provide that information, and because of that I cannot comment nor can I contribute.  Among other things, FACEBOOK asks for my photo ID (in the form of, for example, a screenshot of my drivers license).

One of the nice things about BlogSpot is that it allows me to provide commentary with a minimum amount of infringement upon my privacy.  As it happens, I have provided to BlogSpot much of what is required to FACEBOOK ... but not a jot or a tittle more.

I have provided a face picture to BLOGSPOT, and my comments in what I consider a "private" membership are those which any normal person might consider reasonable.

But not my full name and address.
Not a photo ID.

Not my true date of birth, or my phone number; not my driver's license number, and not full access to other items of personal data which would leave me uncomfortable; or data which provides the chance that my personal data would become public knowledge ... and liable to hacking.

If Bearing Arms (or FACEBOOK) think they are entitled to more personal information than I wish to provide before they will allow me to comment, then I will not contribute.   I'm not sure what benefit these intrusive websites expect to garner from intruding on my privacy,  but I AM certain that I don't trust them with my personal information.

Oh ... I probably could have made this whole email more succinct:

Dear FACEBOOK and Bearing Arms:  Screw you.  I don't need you.


Jerry The Geek

Thursday, September 29, 2016

The Rest Of The Story

US authorities fault gun background-check system | Daily Mail Online:

 A US Justice Department report faulted local authorities Wednesday for failing to update a federal database used in background checks for gun sales, sometimes with "tragic consequences." The inspector general's report cited the June 2015 mass slaying at a black church in Charleston, South Carolina as one such case. Dylan Roof, a white supremacist who shot and killed nine churchgoers in cold blood, should not have been authorized to buy guns since he had been arrested previously for a drug offense.
Roof had not been convicted of a crime (drug habituation) at the time, so he was not YET identified as a person who should not be allowed to own a firearm.  Also, the background-check was (reportedly) delayed .. perhaps for that reason ... for more than the statuary limit of time.

The local authorities could not identify Roof as a felon because of the lack of conviction.  He was, in fact, only accused of a crime.  At the point where he received a firearm, he was not legally constrained from firearms ownership.  "Local Authorities" could not identify him as a person who was a danger to his community, lacking a conviction.   This might explain, at least in part, the delay which resulted in his not being identified as a "person" who should not possess a firearm.

Calls for an 'Australian Style" Gun Control Process would probably not have affected his possession.

Gun Control that Really Works: An Offer You Can't Refuse

Anti-gun fanatics proponents have been racking their brains for laws which will keep people from killing people.

Good luck with that.   Abel/Cain?   Samson/Jawbone of an ASS?  Crucifixion? etc.

We won't stop people from killing each other, so get out of yourself.  But what if we can find a law that actually works to ... if not eliminate firearms homicides, at least appropriately penalizes them?

My Modest Proposal (and I know you're going to think I'm a madman for saying this), is, how about we just impose the penalties for firearms possession which are already in the law books?

Most states impose an 'enhanced sentence' for dealing in drugs when a firearm is involved.

Most prosecutors are willing to trade with drug dealers by 'forgetting' the firearms enhancement if the drug dealers will plead guilty to the charge of "dealing" if the prosecutor ignores the gun charges.

In 2004 for example, Marnail Washington, a 22-year-old with no criminal history, was sentenced to 40 years after conviction of possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine and two §924(c) counts based on possessing, but not using, guns in connection with his drug offenses. That is, 30 years of his 40-year sentence were on gun counts.
Clearly, Liberals are more concerned with the sale of Crack Cocaine than they are with the possession of firearms while dealing in drugs.  Is this not a fine example of "Cognitive Disonance"?

In what way is dealing in Crack more dangerous to society than dealing in Crack while armed?

Crack will fuck mess you up;  carrying a gun while dealing in Crack will fuck mess you up Big Time, if you (as a Crack Dealer) find that your 'turf' is being encroached.

DA's will forget the gun violations if the dealer will admit to the drug violation.  QED

It's easier to prosecute for 'dealing' if the felon admits to the crime.  But the sentence is lighter, and it only gets the armed felon off the streets for a relatively short time.   He'll be back on the street in six months, still dealing, and still carrying ... and still a threat to public safety. (Not a quote)

(Granted, he's probably only a threat to his competitors, but I guess the prosecutors consider this "a feature" rather than "a bug".)

Which brings us to the problems of Firearms Violence in such towns as Chicago, Baltimore, etc.

Prosecutors there are equally eager to put dealers away for "Soft Crimes" because it's easy to dump them in the county jail for six months, for dealing Crack.  It makes them (the prosecutors) look like they are "Doing Something", instead of admitting that they are prosecuting 'soft crime' instead of dealing with the threats of armed drug dealers.

Which perhaps explains, in part, why these communities are among the most violent cities in the world.


... if those same prosecutors could work a little harder on clear cases of an armed drug dealer?   Might they put a few of them in jail for long sentences, with compounded felonies to present to a judge?

Sure, the District Attorneys wouldn't win as many cases; it's harder to prosecute when dealers won't 'cop a plea'.  But the dealers aren't stupid; they know they can 'carry' illegally, plead guilty to lesser drug crimes and not be penalized for it, because the District Attorney won't prosecute them for gun crimes.  And drug crimes are often ALSO argued down to mere 'possession', no matter how much "product" they're holding.

Prosecutors win MORE cases,   if they don't try to convict for gun crimes.

They aren't in the business to get dangerous felons off the street; they're in the business to get re-elected, and eventually to get a soft job in a law office, where their goal is to defend the same oft-convicted felons they have been putting in jail (for six months at a time, instead of seven years at a time) for decades.

It's a symbiotic relationship, and if nobody puts a bright spotlight on the process, then everybody wins.

Except for the victims of drugs and shootings, of course.

  • Forget it, Jake.  It's Chinatown.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

What does this teach American teenagers?

Flag-stomping teacher has no regrets, wants student punished | Fox News:
By Todd Starnes Published September 21, 2016
The teacher who desecrated the American flag inside a North Carolina classroom told me he has no regrets and wants the student who photographed him to be punished. Lee Francis, a first year history teacher at Massey Hill Classical High School in Fayetteville, has been placed on administrative leave while the school district investigates the incident.

I fought for this flag, and ....

Actually, I didn't fight for this flag.

I fought for " ...  the Republic for which it stands ....”

If some yahoo wants to burn the flag, and I'm there, I may choose to challenge it.

But this yahoo is right.  Living in a free country means that you are not obliged to respect it.   And I think there's more to the story than meets the eye.

I'm not sure if his students actually understood the lesson; 
I hope that he explained that he disrespected neither the flag or the country.
I hope that this was not some demonstration of the BLM/Slavery outrage that's currently in vogue.
I hope that he was illustrating the point that this IS a country where there are no laws constraining our freedom to protest.   To assemble, to speak, to assert our rights even when the means of our expression are unpopular.

But even if none of my hopes are realistic, he was very clear in his point that freedom means we can disrespect, and disagree, and protest.   The Constitution is clear; that's why the First and Second Freedoms are so important, and why it's important that the next generation understand what 'freedom' really means.

America isn't undermined because some first-year teacher tramples the flag.

America is undermined when our young people grow up fearing our government.   We don't have to respect (for example) the representatives which 'other people' have elected, contrary to our wishes. 

I know that I don't respect a lot of our Congress-critters.   I didn't vote for them, but they were elected fairly; I'll protest THAT, and then I'll accept it.

But I respect the system which gives us a choice, even if I have to hold my nose to vote for some of them.

America is a country which gives us hope.  Not a lot of countries can claim that.

America is a country which accepts dissidents, and protest, and disrespect.

That's what I fought for.  That's what I came home to.

It makes me proud to know that I live in a country where a teacher can defile the flag, and the worst consequence is that some people call him unkind names.

I won't be one of those people; I think this teacher earned his pay by teaching a very difficult lesson.

Well, except that he spoiled it all by demanding that the student who took the photo be punished;  perhaps this teacher wasn't quite as convinced that the rights to free speech extend to the students as well as to the teacher.

If the student doesn't get an "A" in the class, then I will have lost all of my respect for the teacher!
Well, the teacher is young; he'll learn as much from the experience as did his students, I expect.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

You Light UP My Light ... NOT!

When do light bulbs usually fail?   When you turn them on, and they go , right, and you know you just blew a bulb.

Happened to me last night, except ... I walked out of my computer room (AKA "The Hell Room") and noticed that the bulb which provides the ONLY illumination to the stairwell between the 2nd floor and the ground floor was no longer doing its job.   It had been on for several hours.


So I got another new bulb from the shelf over my water heater, and it didn't work either.   I assumed that there was something wrong with the line.  

Because it's over the upper landing, it's on a 3-way switch.  I assumed that either the switch at the top of the landing (2nd floor) or the switch at the bottom of stairs (ground floor) had failed, so having tested the circuit, I took no other steps.   Oh, it's the only direct illumination to the steep stairs.


I didn't notify my landlord at the time, because I didn't want him to hire a contractor to come rewire the house.  (NOTE: the place was built in the 1960's for about two dollars, top, and most of the upstairs lights and plug-ins are on one circuit ... the same circuit serves many downstairs kitchen plug-ins.  It was a "Lowest Bidder" project; I've learned to have low expectations.)

Tonight, I was thinking ... what are the odds?   The original bulb was one of those ECO-FRIENDLY spiral bulbs; the replacement was  a conventional tungsten filament bulb.  Neither worked; I've done my job, it's now my landlord's problem. Right?

Maybe I haven't explored ALL of the possibilities.

So I took a bulb out of bedside lamp, which had been on all evening, and replaced the bulb in the landing-light fixture.

Ta-DAA!  It works just fine.   The wiring worked: it's just that two bulbs were burnt out; one of them new, never been used, and of the 'reliable' tungsten filament type.  Go figure.


A 'long life' bulb failed after six months, and a brand new bulb didn't work at all.

But another not-so-new bulb works just fine.

BTW .. neither the spiral bulb nor the first new tungsten bulb worked in my bedside reading light.

PS: I replaced the bedside lightbulb with another new bulb from the 'new' pack; it works great.

Yes, this is a petty domestic issue.

Now I have to decide how to dispose of that curly-spiral bulb which, if you break it, you need to call for Explosive Ordnance Depot experts, or something.

I put it in the "GLASS" recycle box on the curb.  They pick up tomorrow morning.

I hope it gives all those "Do It For The Environment" Weanies a frigging heart attack.  I'm not going to EVER buy any of those spiral carbon mercury whatever light bulbs.  It's all a lie from The Dark Side!